#1
I think everyone should read this news article. It's very long, but it's interesting.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html

It's about a world famous classical musician who played to a sold out crowd of $100 ticket holders one day and then the next played in a subway where no-one, despite a claim to being one of the finest classical musicians in the world, stopped to listen to him for an entire 45 minute set.

I won't give you my opinions on it because I don't want to influence anyones read, but suffice to say I think everyone who loves music and loves the players of music should read it. I'd be interested to hear opinions on it.
#2
Read/seen it before, very interesting indeed, If I saw it, or anyone for that matter playing something complex like that, I wouldn't think twice about staying to listen or drop some money in the case.

However, many people I'm sure are busy and in a hurry to get to work or something and don't have time to just stand there for 10 minutes. When asked why they are late, I don't think "sorry, but amazing musician was playing, had to listen." would be a very good excuse.
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#3
Not everyone has an ear for that kind of music. Seeing a musician in a subway was nothing out of the ordinary for the bystanders, so it's not surprising that they phased it out as they walked by. I can't even say that I would stop myself.
#4
You could be projecting Star Wars V on a wall in a subway and most people wouldn't stop to look, either. It's because in a subway, people are busy and trying to get to work, they don't have time for entertainment.
#5
I didn't read the whole article but as a musician, you should be aware that not everyone wants to listen to your music and give you money. No matter how good/famous you are, their will always be thousands of people who don't care and don't have time for you. And that's something that every busker and working musician has to deal with.

It would be brilliant if all the most talented and hardworking people in music ended up getting the most money and respect, but in reality that's not how it works. It's a shame...
#6
It's a shame that the world's become so rapid delivery that we can't stop to appreciate something like this, but I can't hate the people who couldn't stop to listen either. As a person who depends on a single income to support myself and family, even as much as I love music, I couldn't ignore my responsibilities at work to sit for a 40 minute set no matter where it was located, let alone ten minutes when that could be the 10 minutes that gets me fired.

That's why there are scheduled concerts, so it can be fit into your life in such a way that it can be enjoyed without sacrificing something else that's necessary in a non-detrimental way.
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#7
Quote by CoreysMonster
You could be projecting Star Wars V on a wall in a subway and most people wouldn't stop to look, either. It's because in a subway, people are busy and trying to get to work, they don't have time for entertainment, and it also sucks.

#8
Quote by WholeLottaIzzy

Take it back. Nao.

Yeah, I've seen this before: it hasn't really got much validity as a study because of the issue of the subway, and subjective tastes in music. I don't have much of a busy schedule, so I usually have a quick listen and sometimes stop if I really like it. I get a lot of street performers here, especially round Christmas - because we get a lot of immigrants in, I hear a lot of gypsy jazz and such, so it's even catered to my tastes
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who pays five hundred fucking dollars for a burger
Last edited by Banjocal at Nov 10, 2011,
#9
If I was really in a hurry, I'd have to keep walking, but if I heard that, I'd slow my pace or stop and look for a moment.

Reading that made me rather sad that people can be that busy with stuff now, but that's life I guess.
#10
I seldom go down subways or a bus station to be entertained. If I am at one, I'm most likely either on my way or even in a rush to get somewhere. I wouldn't even have time to stop 45 minutes for it.
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#11
Since I've had a few responses, I'd like to weigh in on this since I have a slightly alternate opinion. I understand that there wasn't a crowd gathered, and I understand that no one really got excited or knew who he was because hell I didn't know who he was and I probably wouldn't have stopped either.

What I find interesting is the idea of talent as a quantifiable concept. In certain situations this guys music works very well and he is clearly very good at doing what he does within those circles, but the thing that we call talent is something essentially invented by us. We define what talented means, and how much it is worth. I just find it interesting that regardless of where this man played, he had the same talent, but the value placed on it was very different.

In regards to music, this sort of made me think about CD's. In Rainbows by Radiohead was the same album whenever anyone bought it, but everyone placed a different price on it. Some downloaded it for free, some for as much as $20. Everyone rated it at the worth it represented to them. But it's the same album.

To get to my point, if music represents a different value to everyone who experiences it, is the entire concept of selling music based on a false assumption, in that music should be packaged and sold?
#12
I normally stop and listen, offer them a cigarette, and talk to them if they stop for a bit for whatever reason.

One guy offered me and my friend to come round to his flat and jam with him , but we couldn't make it We still talked to him though whenever we saw him about
Sing me to sleep.
#13
Quote by CobenBlack
What I find interesting is the idea of talent as a quantifiable concept. In certain situations this guys music works very well and he is clearly very good at doing what he does within those circles, but the thing that we call talent is something essentially invented by us. We define what talented means, and how much it is worth. I just find it interesting that regardless of where this man played, he had the same talent, but the value placed on it was very different.
In relation to this, I've always found it slightly amusing that only musicians can really identify highly talented playing, yet to the general public it doesn't matter so long as it sounds good. Think about it: how many non-musicians listen to virtuoso-level guitarists and musicians? The fact that pop music is popular because it is catchy, but is shunned by musicians because they seek a more original hook due to being able to identify skill has always interested me.

To get to my point, if music represents a different value to everyone who experiences it, is the entire concept of selling music based on a false assumption, in that music should be packaged and sold?
No, because people would abuse the system of choosing how much to pay. Imo, music should be paid for, as to hone your abilities as a musician is a skill which takes a lot of work and effort. Why should you not charge for this skill? It's the same principle as being an actor or an artist: a skill which takes time to develop (though may come naturally), and what is produced by these talents is consumed by the public for pleasure: why not charge? You give people enjoyment, they pay you for it.

Sorry if I'm not quite getting your point.
Quote by EndTheRapture51
who pays five hundred fucking dollars for a burger
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#14
You don't have to be sorry, we might have different opinions.

The way that I see it is that we hone our abilities as a musician for ourselves. No-one is paying me for my abilities now, and I don't see a time when I will. I still play though. I still strive to get better and I do it so that I can get better for me, not for anyone else.

In the same way that music gives people enjoyment though, making music gives me enjoyment. Why should I not be the one to pay for it? I think it has become an assumption that music works when it is paid for, but I don't know if it does. As soon as people start paying a set amount, they have a standard laid out for them.

Say a Bach, a metallica album and a beatles album are all $10. They are all of merit and all have playing and/ or songwriting skill that someone could justify spending that money on, but as they are the same price they are surely expected to offer the same level of value. I personally feel, without trying to get all hippyish (because there is an underlying business point here too) that the commercialisation of music while good for record labels, is not necessarily good for music.

The second you start to judge quality of music by units sold you take away the soul of it.

But that's just an opinion. I don't want to change anyone elses, I'm just expressing a belief.
#15
Quote by CobenBlack

What I find interesting is the idea of talent as a quantifiable concept. In certain situations this guys music works very well and he is clearly very good at doing what he does within those circles, but the thing that we call talent is something essentially invented by us. We define what talented means, and how much it is worth. I just find it interesting that regardless of where this man played, he had the same talent, but the value placed on it was very different.

In regards to music, this sort of made me think about CD's. In Rainbows by Radiohead was the same album whenever anyone bought it, but everyone placed a different price on it. Some downloaded it for free, some for as much as $20. Everyone rated it at the worth it represented to them. But it's the same album.

To get to my point, if music represents a different value to everyone who experiences it, is the entire concept of selling music based on a false assumption, in that music should be packaged and sold?

The problem with your logic is that that thought process can be applied to anything. Hmmm, I want that new call of duty game, but do I want to pay $60 for it? Maybe they should give it to me for free. Movies, games, music, art, even food and many other things aren't valued the same between different people.
#16
Quote by CobenBlack
I personally feel, without trying to get all hippyish (because there is an underlying business point here too) that the commercialisation of music while good for record labels, is not necessarily good for music.

The second you start to judge quality of music by units sold you take away the soul of it.
I agree.

However, RE the first bit: if you can make money out of a skill, you should give it a go. Plastering, building, writing, music: they're all skills, and all can and are exploited (positively) as such. Music is a cultural element of society which is significantly more important than one might at first think: while it is not always paid for, as it appears in daily life on the radio and such, the musicians who make the music need to be able to feed themselves, and they do this by giving people a recorded copy of their music for a fee.
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who pays five hundred fucking dollars for a burger
#17
I agree that it is worth paying money for to keep it going, it's more that the assumption that music is a product leads to music as a commercial entity, which I feel is a misbranding. I think that a lot of the current problems in music would sort of dissapear if the assumption of music being a vehicle for making money was taken away and addressed.

For example, in regards to CD sales and downloads, there is a complaint that there are lower sales of CD's, when in fact it should be celebrated that every year thousands and thousands of musicians make a living from what they love.

I think I made a mistake in suggesting that musicians shouldn't earn money from what they were doing, I think I should have put across more that the assumption shouldn't be that music is a route to money and that should be a valid reason to play.